Naishou province is one of the provinces of the Emerald Empire.
Geographically, the Naishou Province was delineated by the Taru Mountains in the north and east, the Omikura Swamp in the northwest, and the Kawa Forest in the west and south, isolating the province from the rest of the Empire. The primary way in and out of the province was the Itochu River, which originated in Tsunegawa Lake and flowed southeast out of the province. The only other major way out of the province was through the Taru Mountains, primarily through the Sujuko Pass in the northeast.
This area was already inhabited before the Fall of the Kami by three major tribal groups, the Yamataru tribe in the Taru Mountains, the Morikawa tribe in the Kawa Forest, and the Takanobu tribe in the Nobu Valley. 2 There were four main settlements, the capital Toshi no Naishou, Koso Mura, Hitori Mura, and Shizu Mura, alongside several dozen smaller villages. Most of these villages were originally founded by the Takanobu tribe.
The term naishou means “secret” in Rokugani, a name that the local inhabitants had taken very much to heart. Local folks believed information lose some of its worth if it was known too widely, and as such carefully considered who they chose to share it with. The trade in ‘secrets’ had become a secondary system of exchanges on top of the usual courtly favors. The offerings to Fortunes were often token secrets, such as the hidden name of a pet.
“Picking the Rice”
When residents of Toshi no Naishou had difficulty finding a spouse, they travelled through the countryside until they could find a match, a practice known euphemistically as “picking rice.” This resulted in a network of connections between the city and the countryside.
“Seeking the Way”
Young samurai travelled the countryside to meet the gokenin of the province’s smaller villages and requested their tutelage, as the single samurai attached to them. This was known as “Seeking the Way” and further strengthened relations between the city and the villages.
Naishou Province had an ancient and celebrated history and was the site of numerous battles and political struggles to control its prosperous valleys.
Fall of the Kami
The Takanobu slowly drove the other tribes out of the valley and dominated the area when the first followers of the Kami arrived. The samurai ended the conflicts between the tribes, and these lands became part of the Emerald Empire.
Destruction and Rebuilding
The warriors of the tribes were all but annihilated during the War Against Fu Leng, and the samurai departed the empty area. Too damaged to be worth rebuilding, the Great Clans left it alone, an unaligned territory within the borders of the Empire. The surviving people persevered and Toshi no Naishou, which eventually became a center for commerce.
End of Isolation
A single lost samurai who wandered into the Province realized that what had once been a backwater region of little interest was now a beautiful well-settled area able to support a significant population. Different clans petititoned to the Imperial Court to be granted custody of the Province. The Lion gathered an army to seize it by force, but the province changed hands many times during these years.
To end the conflict, the Province was assigned to the Phoenix Clan, officially due to its spiritual significance. they slowly withdrew their limited presence, once Naishou was seen as a safe and mostly self-administrating area. Many samurai retired in Naishou Province, since it had several monasteries and was a place of peace.
In 1198 the Phoenix governor of the Naishou province died under mysterious circumstances, and a member of the Imperial Families was appointed to take his place. A Miya escorted by a Lion army arrived to the Province, which was already with the presence of a Scorpion and a Crane armies, claiming their rights over the province. The Governor allowed the Crane and Scorpion troops to remain to avoid further insulting the two clans.